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China Slams Israel for Disbanding of U.N. Jenin Probe Team

Xinhua, 03 May 2002

UNITED NATIONS, May 3 (Xinhua) -- China lashed out at Israel on Friday for making it impossible for a United Nations fact-finding team to launch its inquiry into what happened in the Jenin refugee camp on the West Bank, saying that Israel must resume all responsibility for all this.

The Chinese statement came as Wang Yingfan, the Chinese permanent representative to the United Nations, was speaking to an open U.N. Security Council meeting, which opened here late Friday.

Wang blamed Israel for setting up obstacles for the U.N. team. The team was endorsed by an unanimously adopted U.N. resolution, but the developing situation later prompted U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan to decide to disband the team, which had been brought into being just a dozen of days before.

Regrettably, Israel went back on its words by raising a variety of obstacles to make the work of the team impossible, he said. Israel must resume all responsibility for all this.

The statement by the senior Chinese diplomat was echoed by a majority of 30 representatives, including some Arab countries and Security Council members, who took the floor at the council meeting.

Israel first fully accepted the U.N. resolution to establish the probe team. But the Israeli cabinet on Tuesday changed its mind by deciding to prevent the team from carrying out its mandate under the resolution.

On Wednesday, Annan informed the 15-nation Security Council that he intended to disband the fact-finding team directed to investigate allegations of excessive killing and destruction in the Palestinian refugee camp. Enditem